Can a simple dietary change – just eating less sugar – make children’s risk of heart disease take a quick nose dive? Possibly.
In a new study (by Prof. Robert Lustig among others) researchers made obese children have less sugar, without changing calorie intake or macronutrients. They only substituted starch for sugar.
What happened? A fat associated with heart disease, triglycerides, decreased by 33% and there were dramatic reductions of small, dense LDL cholesterol (another risk factor for heart disease). All in ten days:
- The New York Times: Cutting Sugar Rapidly Improves Heart Health Markers
- UPI: Cutting Down on Sweets Can Help Kids’ Hearts
- Artherosclerosis: Short-Term Isocaloric Fructose Restriction Lowers apoC-III Levels and Yields Less Atherogenic Lipoprotein Profiles in Children with Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
This supports the idea that sugar is uniquely problematic when it comes to heart disease risk. But the study did not have a control group, so the findings have be taken with a grain of salt (this is not an RCT).
Still, getting these big reductions in heart disease risk factors just by eating less sugar and more of something else, without changing body weight, and in just 10 days… it’s hard to ignore.